Recurring operating income rose by 31.7% to EUR 20.9 million, thanks to the leverage due to an optimized cost structure and improved productivity. Recurring operating margin came out at 17.4%, above Group targets.
Operating income includes indemnities from FMC for EUR 1.6 million and non recurring expenses incurred for the reorganization of the Groupâs Insurance business for EUR 0.4 million .
Net income grew by 35.2% to EUR 13.5 million, representing a net margin of 11.2%.
Operating margin per division
The Groupâs Asset Management business, - 55% of total revenue in 2005 -, recorded a sharp organic growth up to 14.3%, and recorded 20.5% operating margin. This represents a high mark performance for this division.
Despite the overall slowdown of -3.9% due to the Insurance business, the operating margin of the Savings & Insurance division recovered in the second half of the year, posting a 14.2% margin for the entire year compared with 12.2% at the first half.
The Leasing & Credit Finance division exceeded its targets due to the combination of a return to organic growth, up 3.9%, and double-digit profitability, i.e. 13.2% of operating margin.
Financial strength maintained
The sharp growth in cash flow and the improved WCR management, enabled the Group to stabilize its net gearing at 30.7% at the end of 2005 (acquisitions included). As such, Linedata Services maintained its financial strength for future development.
Sharp increase in the dividend
A dividend of EUR 0.25 per share will be proposed at the next Shareholdersâ Meeting, representing an increase of 38% on 2004.
2006: a Group on track to take on new challenges
Building on the positive outlook of its three businesses, Linedata Services targets a further acceleration in organic growth in 2006, mainly in the second half of the year, on pro forma revenue of EUR 139.6 million.
This organic growth combined with the rapid integration of GIS and Beauchamp, should allow Linedata Services to improve its recurring operating margin in a move toward its target of 20%.
Moreover, Linedata Services intends to pursue its federating role within this high growth market.
Linedata Services is due to publish its Q1 2006revenue on May 10 after the close of the markets.